CEO of Premier Inc. Susan DeVore spoke to nearly 500 students of the Belk College of Business in the Student Union Multipurpose Room for the CEO Speaker Series Oct. 19.

The event took place from 11 to 11:45 a.m., giving students and faculty the opportunity to hear from notable leaders in the business community, with a distinguished guest CEO as the main speaker.

UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business has undergone massive growth since its establishment in 1960, and is now a largly renowned urban research business school with more than 28,000 alumni.

“We have a long list of business leaders who have started their own companies, sometimes even while pursuing their education here at UNC Charlotte,” Dean of the Belk College of Business Steve Ott said. 

The primary guest speaker at the event was DeVore, CEO of Premier Inc., a leading healthcare improvement company, a graduate of UNC Charlotte and known amongst the community as an influential business leader.

DeVore gave advice to students by speaking of her experiences as a UNC Charlotte student, her ventures into the business world and the avenues to her successes.

“You must be adaptable to everything around you and to have a mindset that you’re going to make everyone else successful too,” Devore said regarding qualities that are essential to being favorable in the workforce. “Nobody in any executive position is going to be successful unless there’s an ecosystem of successful people around them.”

She also notes that it is important for students to be versatile and willing to experience new things so that they can optimize fulfillment in their careers. She explained that it’s easy to feel trapped when their jobs become a redundant cycle with very little challenges.

“One thing people regret the most is that they never stepped out of the box they were in, never tried something different,” she said. “People are more afraid of what they can become more than they are of failing.”

Towards the end of her speech, Devore answered students’ questions about the new generation of business graduates and opportunities available for them both within the University and in the field of business.

She acknowledged the value of millennials in society and the attributes that they can bring to employers.

“Entrepreneurial spirit is a cultural element that needs to be embedded to bring ideas forward,” she said. “Millennials have a want and passion for important work; they aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo and are so socially and technologically connected, making you all very valuable to the workforce.”